Food safety and security has become a challenge due to climate change (13-45% yield loss by 2040), population expansion (9.6 billion people worldwide by 2050 , including approximately 1 billion people suffering from malnutrition), and the loss of arable land. In this context, hydroponics presents a promising alternative.
Hydroponics/Soilless cultivation involves growing plants without soil in an aqueous solvent or inert medium (perlite, vermiculite, coir, peat moss, etc.) for an extended period of time using a mineral nutrient solution. Plants receive a set amount of water, minerals and oxygen depending on the growth stage of the crop. In the 1930s, William Frederick Gericke called it “hydroponics”, which means “working with water”.
The hydroponic system allows crops to be produced earlier, taller, and vertically at any location using fewer resources in a controlled growing environment (light, temperature, humidity, and airflow) throughout the season. year. Globally, growth is around 19% per year, with maximum production in France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States. NASA declares it agriculture of the future, especially for astronauts in space. This technology should be further explored to produce high value crops, such as vegetables in areas where soils are limited or non-existent or degraded (e.g. salinity) or in water-stressed areas to ensure the Food Safety.
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While advanced hydroponic systems remain impractical for some developing regions, there is an alternative, a simplified hydroponic growing system. Such a system is accessible with training and a small initial investment. Yields from simplified systems are lower than those from advanced systems, but they are still superior to traditional farming methods and use 80% less water. Hydroponics made simple can be taught to farmers and individuals with no prior knowledge. These farmers can generate income from small plots of land with vertical farming tools, even in urban settings. New jobs and farms supported by hydroponics contribute to a green economy.
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In Morocco, the startup Jodoor seeks to promote this innovation in agriculture through Morocco first, then Africa as a future ambition. More information in the video capsule: